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Azamara, worth it?


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Having sailed on Celebrity, Oceania, Azamara, and Regent we can say that AZ and Regent are our favorites.  I agree that for friendliness of crew and passengers AZ wins hands down.  On our last AZ cruise in August on the Journey, everyone from the captain to our butler and everyone in-between could not have been nicer and responsive to any concern we had.  We would love to take another cruise on the Journey, with the right itinerary, just to be with the crew again.  The other passengers also were very friendly and overall we loved the cruise.

We love Regent for its all-inclusiveness.  In fact, we like it so much that we are booked on the 2021 World Cruise and are counting the days until we board.  We have always found the passengers unpretentious and lots of fun to be with.  We are far from the "one-percent" but knowing what your trip will cost up front is very appealing to us.  That being said, the food and service on Regent cannot be beat and the large cabins make traveling for many days a comfortable experience.  We enjoy the Regent entertainment, for what it is, but we are on the cruises for the ports, so most nights we go to bed early anyway.

We have heard many positive things about Viking Ocean, and may try it one of these days.  In the meantime, we will stick with Regent and Azamara.

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  • 5 weeks later...

We just spent some time comparing a Western Europe cruise on either Azamara or Windstar. itineraries are quite similar but with a slight preference to Windstar. Windstar was about $2,500 cheaper for an OV and also 100sq ft larger. Doesn’t include drinks but hopefully our bar bill isn’t $2,500 😱 the free laundry offer on Windstar is nice and I think it came with $500 OBC and some wine. We’ll keep an eye on Azamara’s prices but that cabin size is a pretty big difference. 

 

One wish for Azamara...I would love to see some B2Bs joined to form a single voyage and be offered for sale that way, makes comparing with Crystal, Oceania & Windstar a lot easier. 

 

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Just now, Cruise Junky said:

We just spent some time comparing a Western Europe cruise on either Azamara or Windstar. itineraries are quite similar but with a slight preference to Windstar. Windstar was about $2,500 cheaper for an OV and also 100sq ft larger. Doesn’t include drinks but hopefully our bar bill isn’t $2,500 😱 the free laundry offer on Windstar is nice and I think it came with $500 OBC and some wine. We’ll keep an eye on Azamara’s prices but that cabin size is a pretty big difference. 

 

One wish for Azamara...I would love to see some B2Bs joined to form a single voyage and be offered for sale that way, makes comparing with Crystal, Oceania & Windstar a lot easier. 

 

Have been on several B2B and AZ does not offer a price discount like other cruise lines for B2B. They give you $400 OBC for each leg Regardless of price so add cost of both legs and subtract $800. Not a great discount especially in a CC suite.

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On ‎1‎/‎17‎/‎2020 at 4:38 PM, Ladys Mom said:

Having sailed on Celebrity, Oceania, Azamara, and Regent we can say that AZ and Regent are our favorites.  I agree that for friendliness of crew and passengers AZ wins hands down.  On our last AZ cruise in August on the Journey, everyone from the captain to our butler and everyone in-between could not have been nicer and responsive to any concern we had.  We would love to take another cruise on the Journey, with the right itinerary, just to be with the crew again.  The other passengers also were very friendly and overall we loved the cruise.

We love Regent for its all-inclusiveness.  In fact, we like it so much that we are booked on the 2021 World Cruise and are counting the days until we board.  We have always found the passengers unpretentious and lots of fun to be with.  We are far from the "one-percent" but knowing what your trip will cost up front is very appealing to us.  That being said, the food and service on Regent cannot be beat and the large cabins make traveling for many days a comfortable experience.  We enjoy the Regent entertainment, for what it is, but we are on the cruises for the ports, so most nights we go to bed early anyway.

We have heard many positive things about Viking Ocean, and may try it one of these days.  In the meantime, we will stick with Regent and Azamara.

What is the one per cent?

 

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22 minutes ago, Lookyboy said:

What is the one per cent?

 

At least in the United States "one-percent" refers to the richest one percent of the population.  I used the expression to say that although we are not terribly rich, we love sailing on Regent even with the high up front costs.

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On 1/14/2020 at 6:20 PM, Cruise Junky said:

Already been. We had a fantastic day. We’ll split the month between Seville, Provence and Italy. I do want to return to the Italian Riviera area. Possibly Santa Margarita this time. 

 

Santa Margherita is wonderful! We spent 5 days there before a transatlantic cruise from Rome and it was wonderful. We did spend a day doing the final coastal trail in the Cinque Terre (so now we have walked/hiked between all 5), but spent the rest of the time wandering around town, walking to Portofino, geocaching in the hills and just soaking it all in.

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Is Azamara worth it, yes, at the price point we are prepared to pay. That is why it is so subjective, we love the Azamara experience, but we will not pay silly prices, and let’s be honest, some of the pricing is beyond ridiculous! So, we will continue to sail with Azamara if we find an itinerary and price we are comfortable with, and we are eagerly awaiting our next cruise on Quest!

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1 hour ago, Lindy028 said:

Is Azamara worth it, yes, at the price point we are prepared to pay. That is why it is so subjective, we love the Azamara experience, but we will not pay silly prices, and let’s be honest, some of the pricing is beyond ridiculous! So, we will continue to sail with Azamara if we find an itinerary and price we are comfortable with, and we are eagerly awaiting our next cruise on Quest!

 

That's very similarly to my current attitude towards Azamara, trouble is it's getting very hard to find a cruise that I would wish to book for a decent price.

Edited by Bloodaxe
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There’s no doubt they make you feel at home and the service is good and if you are happy to pay over the odds for that then that’s up to you. However that’s all they have , the Den is sold as a wonderful place to sit down and chat, how cutting edge. The daily quiz’s are good fun , the shows are ok if you like them, so no real difference to most cruise ships. 

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3 hours ago, chromered7 said:

There’s no doubt they make you feel at home and the service is good and if you are happy to pay over the odds for that then that’s up to you. However that’s all they have , the Den is sold as a wonderful place to sit down and chat, how cutting edge. The daily quiz’s are good fun , the shows are ok if you like them, so no real difference to most cruise ships. 

 

Some of us are willing to pay for what Azamara doesn't have:  crowds, roller coasters, drunks, lines.  But the biggest positive for Azamara is:  itineraries.  On that they really are "cutting edge."

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We've been meaning to try Azamara for a while and have just booked a Journey cruise late April/early May to replace an Oceania cruise to the Far East cancelled by the cruise line due to the coronavirus. Our previous cruises have been on Oceania, Viking and Crystal so that's who we'll be judging Azamara against.

I think the entry of Viking into the ocean cruising market has shaken up the prestige but not super-luxury segment (i.e. below Seabourn, Regent etc). The excursions with Viking are particularly good (an included excursion in each port and high quality, reasonable cost optional additional excursions) and the whole offering feels more 'modern' - rather than nostalgic for the cruising golden era of the 1930s. Oceania has the best food of the cruise lines we've tried - including excellent speciality restaurants at no extra cost. Crystal was a bit of a disappointment - food and service good but not exceptional and not worth the price premium - we'd only sail with them again if we got a great deal.

What we're looking for on Azamara is a 'small ship' experience. We accept that shows and some other activities will be smaller scale but hope that this is outweighed by the more intimate atmosphere. And we've been forewarned about the shower curtains so that won't come as a shock!

We'll see - looking forward to it.

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We have sailed on Azamara for the itinerary.  And we have another one booked, also for the itinerary. The itinerary balances with what may be higher price.  Our trip on the Journey was very nice and I felt very confident with the crew as we started going through immigration in Cuba.  On other cruise lines we usually eat in the dining room, as we did on Azamara, so I overlooked the various special cuisines that were offered on different nights in Windows.  We did not feel as pampered on Azamara as our usual cruise line, but the itinerary along with the small ship were the main factors.  We probably wouldn't sail Azamara on a ho hum itinerary.

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On 2/22/2020 at 11:41 AM, Bloodaxe said:

 

That's very similarly to my current attitude towards Azamara, trouble is it's getting very hard to find a cruise that I would wish to book for a decent price.

I have to agree. We have enjoyed all of the many cruises we have taken on Azamara but the price increases and silly gimmicks have made other cruise lines, such as Silversea and even a few Regent cruises, better options.

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On 8/18/2019 at 3:02 AM, cambriah said:

my question:  is it worth the higher price to cruise with Azamara — better staterooms, better food, more desirable land tours, better service — or should we stick to what we know?

These two Seniors would appreciate any comments/suggestions you might have.

 

On 8/18/2019 at 3:02 AM, cambriah said:

my question:  is it worth the higher price to cruise with Azamara — better staterooms, better food, more desirable land tours, better service — or should we stick to what we know?

These two Seniors would appreciate any comments/suggestions you might have.

Having just returned I would have to say no it is not worth the extra, wines are OK-just, staff nice but no more friendly than on other lines we have sailed with, food is cheap and not very nice, uninspiring, the main dining room is frantic, noisy and rushed, not a pleasant experience and certainly not fine dining either in food or service. Where they do well is ports of call, the shuttle buses, waiters helping you to table with plates in Windows  and the Azamazing evening, but of course it is all personal opinion, 

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31 minutes ago, spiritoftravel said:

 

Having just returned I would have to say no it is not worth the extra, wines are OK-just, staff nice but no more friendly than on other lines we have sailed with, food is cheap and not very nice, uninspiring, the main dining room is frantic, noisy and rushed, not a pleasant experience and certainly not fine dining either in food or service. Where they do well is ports of call, the shuttle buses, waiters helping you to table with plates in Windows  and the Azamazing evening, but of course it is all personal opinion, 

I'd have to agree with you based upon my recent experiences. I'm slightly fortunate in that I know the good wait staff and now ask for them. Service is more consistent for me this way, but the noise and ambience?  Not what it used to be IMHO.

 

This was one of the comments I made on my post cruise questionnaire. It's become obvious that there are less staff and having to do more work. Or the Azamara policy of filling the ship at all costs is having a negative impact.  Not fine dining. 

 

Phil 

Edited by excitedofharpenden
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On 1/17/2020 at 5:29 PM, donaldsc said:

Find another ship with 700 passengers at the Azamara price point.  That makes it worth it to me.  I intensely dislike larger ships.

We sailed with Oceania in 2018 on Regatta it was fantastic, it was cheaper than Azamara, and also the recent cruise we took on the Journey, was only a little cheaper than Oceania, we took it to go to Tasmania, unfortunately, no fault of Azamara the weather took a turn and we did not visit-however give me Oceania any day, far better food, staff just as friendly and we found the other guests much friendly too, but I guess with all cruises it depends who is on at the time.  

Edited by spiritoftravel
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